Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Severe Solar Storms Could Disrupt Earth This Decade: NOAA

Another factor that increases your need to be prepared for a collapse of the grid. When you realize how fragile the grid is, and how hopelessly dependent you are to it, the course of action becomes obvious.

    IBTimes -

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a federal agency that focuses on the condition of the oceans and atmosphere, said a severe solar storm could cause global disruptions in GPS systems, power grids, satellite communications, and airline communications.

    With solar activity expected to peak around 2013, the Sun is entering a particularly active time and big flares like the recent one will likely be common during the next few years.

    Most solar flares will only cause minor problems with satellites and power grids, but a major flare in the mid-19th century blocked the nascent telegraph system, and some scientists believe that another such event is now overdue.

    In a huge solar storm back in 1859, telegraph offices worldwide were hit, some telegraph operators reported electric shocks, the telegraph systems malfunctioned and even paper caught fire. It is the strongest solar storm on record and is called the “Carrington Event,” which is named after Richard Carrington, who viewed and reported on the solar flare of Sept. 1, 1859. In 1989, six million people in Quebec, Canada were left without power for several hours when a solar storm took down a power grid.

Read all of it.